A single mother who lives on one meal a day and has been hospitalised twice for malnutrition says that the inflation rate will be catastrophic for her family — and she might have to start begging.

Kelly Thomson, 43, lives on £40 per week to feed herself and her two children — and said inflation hikes have already hit her struggling family.

Although Ms Thomson’s universal credit covers her £1,300 monthly rent and a few other costs, she says she has just £160 a month left for all other bills.

Slough, Berkshire-based mother-of-2 said rising food prices make it almost impossible for her and her two children to eat.

Because she only eats one meal per day, she has lost 2 stone. She was then forced to give her birthday gift to Cash Converters in order to make money to buy food.

Kelly Thomson, 43, lives on £40 per week to feed herself and her two children. Pictured with her daughter, 11

Kelly Thomson, 43, lives on £40 per week to feed herself and her two children. Pictured here with her 11 year old daughter.

Twice she has ended up in hospital suffering with malnutrition, she said — even needing blood transfusions to replenish her depleted iron levels because she cannot afford fresh food.

The new Office for National Statistics data today reveal that the UK’s inflation rate stands at 10.1%.

And new figures revealed that everyday food items have soared in price by as much as 34 per cent, laying bare the true cost of inflation as it reached another 40-year-high today. 

Ms. Thomson has two children, a 14-year-old son and a 11 year old daughter.

“The cost of living has risen to a ridiculous level and I have no idea what I will do. Our resources are limited. It’s clear to me that I will have to go to the streets to get help.

“It is worse than it has ever been.” The new rate of inflation makes me feel sick.

The mother-of-two, from Slough, Berkshire, said rising food prices have made it near impossible for her to feed herself as well as her son, 14, and daughter, 11

Slough, Berkshire – A mother of two from Slough said that increasing food prices made it almost impossible for her and her son (14), to eat as well.

Everything is more expensive each time I visit the shop, and I cannot bear to stare at the gasmeter.

“I have thoughts of stealing, but it is too much to bear thinking about what will happen to my children if that happens.”

New stats reveal the headline CPI rate reached 10.1 per cent in July – well above analysts’ predictions of 9.8 per cent. The increase was due largely to higher fuel prices and increased food prices. 

This is the highest level of inflation since February 1982 when it was 10.4 percent. It comes in the midst of a crisis in cost-of living that has seen prices rise on everything, from packages holidays to food and drink to toothbrushes. 

According to latest statistics from the Office of National Statistics, a slew of grocery items has outpaced inflation. The average cost of low-fat milk increased by 34% over the last 12 months. 

A slew of supermarket items have also far outpaced the inflation rate, with the cost of low fat milk rising by 34 per cent on average over the past 12 months, according to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS)

According to latest statistics from the Office of National Statistics, a slew of grocery items has outperformed the inflation rate. The average cost of low-fat milk increased by 34% over the last 12 months.

The list also included dairy products, including whole milk, butter, and cheese. Butter grew by 28.1 percent, 27.1 percent, and 17% respectively. 

Other necessities such as eggs, olive oil and jam rose by 23.6 percent, 21.2 percentage and 14.6 percentage, respectively. 

According to the ONS, there were also sharp rises for poultry (6.1%), fish (13.4%) and snacks (13.4%) 

Grant Fitzner (ONS Chief Economist) stated that the price of food rose by a variety of factors. Higher takeaway prices were also caused by rising food prices, especially for bakery goods, milk, vegetables and dairy products. 

Inflation in July was also driven by price increases in staples like pet food, toothpastes, and deodorants.

In July, the headline CPI rate was 10.1%. This is well ahead of analysts’ expectations of 9.8%. The CPI rate was 9.4 percentage points higher than the month before.

“The price of raw materials as well as goods that leave factories increased due to the rising cost of food and metals.

This comes at a time when experts believe the current inflation rate may be crushed later in the year. The Bank of England anticipates that it will top 13%.

This latest rise, along with yesterday’s relatively strong jobs market numbers will fuel speculation that the Bank might raise interest rates next month.

This could reduce the price of goods, but it would be a burden on Britons as well, since wages are far behind.

Thomson claimed that Thomson is apathetic and cries over her situation every day.

She said, “It’s becoming worse, and I feel so trapped. It’s like I’m being suffocating, and there’s nothing that I can do.”

‘It feels like everything is spiralling out of control — we need someone to step in and help the people that need it.’

'In June, my children watched me collapse,' Ms Thomson said. 'I've never been so scared in my life and the impact on their mental health must be awful'

Thomson explained that Ms Thomson’s children witnessed me collapsing in June. “I have never felt so afraid in my entire life, and it must have had a terrible impact on their mental well-being.”

Captain Boris was accused of going on’shore leave,’ as the cost-of-living crisis is raging  

Boris Johnson has been criticised for disappearing while the country is dealing with a crisis in its cost-of living.

Asda chairman Lord Rose criticised a ‘horrifying’ absence of fresh support, saying: ‘The captain of the ship is on shore leave – nobody is in charge at the moment.’

As the cost of living crisis worsened, the Conservative peer asked when an emergency budget would be presented.

He is currently on vacation in Greece along with his wife Carrie. This comes shortly after their honeymoon to Slovenia. He expects them to stay at Chequers for the last three weeks, rather than Downing Street.

Lord Rose, a former chief at Marks & Spencer, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We’ve got to have some action. The captain of the ship is on shore leave – nobody is in charge at the moment.’

He said, “Nothing’s happening.” We’re sitting here now, into the fourth month of the crisis, and we’re still waiting to see what action will be taken – it’s horrifying.’

He called for targeted, new action to aid ‘those most in dire need’ and warned that the nation was ‘heading towards a depression’.

RocioConcha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, commented: “These figures highlight the magnitude of the cost-of living crisis and show that millions will be in a difficult financial position over the next months.

“With rising bills, it is clear that current levels of government cost-of living assistance will not suffice.

“Ministers should now act quickly to improve the support available to those in need. Businesses that are essential, like telecoms and energy, should also make every effort to ensure customers get a great deal and additional support when they are needed.

Since December 2020 when Ms Thomson contracted long Covid, she has struggled to make ends meet. She was also fired from her position as cleaner.

According to her, during winter she would go without electricity and light the house with candles because it was too expensive to pay for the bills.

She told Slough Observer that she was wearing a long-sleeve shirt, vest, and a dress with tights, and under her jeans, and was dressed in a dressing gown. 

“We had tights underneath our pyjamas.”

They cuddled up in bed together at night to keep warm — with the family relying on neighbours to heat up food.

Ms Thomson took her family television and the smart TV her daughter was gifted for her birthday, in desperate need of money to purchase food.

Thomson spends all of her money on food. She also buys food bank supplies to make sure that she has enough food for herself and her family.

While she serves breakfast for the children and lunch is provided by school, she says that the best way to eat each day is sharing an evening meal with the kids.

Lidl allows her to shop for food and find bargains that she can store in the freezer. 

Thomson lost 2 stone in January 2021 and now her 12 size clothes are three sizes too large.

Thomson shared that Ms Thomson was lucky if she gets a meal every day. Every morning I get up and do what I must, because it is my duty to my children.

Fuel costs have been surging adding to the upward pressure on inflation

Inflation has been rising due to higher fuel costs. 

Energy bills have risen over the years. 

2018 – £1,300

2019 – £1,353

2020 – £1,295

2021 – £1,339 

(Average household bills – House of Commons Library 

January 2022 – £1,309

August 2022 – £1,971

(Ofgem price cap)  

October 20,22 – £3,582

January 2023 – £4,266 

(Cornwall Insight Forecasts) 

Last week’s forecasts 

October 20,22 – £3,359 

January 2023 – £3,616

(Auxilione forecasts)

January 2023 – £4,650

April 2023 – £5,456 

‘I’m so scared and I cry every single day. I feel so scared that I might lose my mind. But I used to be such an optimistic person.

“I am worried about my health. I feel weak and hungry all the time. After fighting and fighting, I have no idea what I should do. 

‘In June, my children watched me collapse. “I’ve never felt so afraid in my entire life. The impact it had on their mental health is unimaginable.”

‘I’m not asking for luxury. Just to be able pay the bills and eat. She told Slough Observer that she doesn’t understand what is happening in England. 

She spent almost half her income in May on the prepayment energy meter before the recent price caps were announced. 

The family of Ms. Thomson is now in fuel poverty. This refers to energy costs exceeding 10% of household income. 

The energy price cap – which regulates what more than 20million households pay for their gas and electricity – is due to rise again in October.

The cap is set to hit around £3,635 according to the latest predictions. This would represent an 84% increase over today’s record-breaking price cap.

According to the Guardian, new research by the University of York has shown that fuel poverty will affect two-thirds of UK households by January.

When the money runs out, Ms Thomson’s family are left without hot water, heating and electricity — unable to cook until they top-up.

The fridge and freezer also go out. A neighbour will store food for them. 

Sometimes they help to feed the family. 

She stated that the bills were too high for her family and that it would be impossible to survive the winter without gas or electricity. 

Slough Observer: “I am already too thin,” she said. “The doctor told me that I was underweight, and it could be due to stress or lack of nutrition.

Thomson claimed that she is feeling trapped and needs to get out of her house.

She encouraged the government to step in to help those most in need — before they have any more ‘deaths on their hands’.

Ms Thomson stated that it was “terrible.” Truth is that everyone suffers while people in power have fun. These people need to make a change.

She claimed that the government was “taking from the poor in order to feed them”, with Brits being left’starving’ and money being ‘wasted. 

Is inflation likely to get worse? What are you doing to reduce the suffering? 

As inflation rose to a record high, households are more likely to be in financial trouble.

Consumers are faced with skyrocketing costs, due to rising electricity and gas prices.

How can we mitigate the price increases and maintain household financial stability during this crisis?

Why are things so expensive?

Covid-19 is a global problem for supply chains. It has caused a mix of high demand and shipping delays. Factory lockdowns around the globe and workers absences have led to Covid-19 being delayed and causing a lot of disruption. The result has been a rise in prices, especially for raw material.

Wages have increased and food prices have risen. This includes HGV drivers who are now experiencing shortages. Thousands of HGV drivers left the UK in recent months to travel to their EU home countries.

As the full effects of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine and sanctions on President Vladimir Putin’s government unfold, the pressure on energy and food prices will only get worse.

Oil and gas prices were soaring after Russia’s sudden decrease in supplies, which is the biggest energy exporter on the planet.

UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) has predicted that conflict would lead to an increase in food prices worldwide of between 8 and 22 percent in 2022.

How long will inflation stay high?

It is unlikely that inflation will reach its peak before 2024, as it is likely to fall below 2%.

According to the Bank of England, inflation may peak in October at 11%. But economists also predict that it will rise up to 15%.

The high inflation rate continues to outpace wage increases, meaning more financial pain for households. This will lead to a decline in real incomes throughout the UK.

What can you do to manage rising energy costs?

Experts at Cornwall Insight said bills could rise from a current record of £1,971 to around £3,582 in October and then further to £4,266 at the start of next year.

Forecasts are calculated based upon what an average household spends on electricity and gas in one year. Higher bills could be incurred by households that consume more energy.

The goal is for households to build up credit with suppliers to offset winter’s higher prices. However, there are concerns that many households will be unable to afford the Ofgem price cap increase of October. It is important to make sure that your home is as efficient and energy-efficient as possible. It is possible to reduce your energy use by using as much as you can in the beginning.

How can I lower the price of food?

Britons are facing higher grocery costs, and food and drink prices have risen 12.7% since July 2008. This is the largest increase in price since August 2008.

Prices for food rose 2.3% in July over June, as higher prices and the effect of war in Ukraine filtered down to supermarket shelves.

Kantar stated that the rise in grocery prices is leading shoppers to look for cheaper goods and to buy supermarket-owned brands. However, customers also make fewer trips into stores to reduce petrol consumption.

The best advice for consumers is to consider shopping for their own brand or value groceries and setting a tight, manageable supermarket budget. You can save money by signing up for loyalty programmes at your supermarket.

The cashback websites and the welcome offers they offer can help make household budgets stretch even further.

How can the government help?

A first instalment of £326 was paid out to low-income households on benefits last month, with a second payment of £324 to follow in the autumn.

The Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs are working together to identify those who may be eligible for a cost of living payment.

Many will have already received their first installment in July. However, for tax credit recipients, the initial payment should be made in the fall and then the second in the winter of 2022.

Pensioner households will also receive an extra £300 to help cover the rising cost of energy this winter, while people on disability benefits will receive an extra £150 payment in September.

From October, households will also have £400 taken off energy bills, although politicians have come under pressure to increase this.

People may also see an income boost in their pay packets, as national insurance (NI) starting thresholds increased from £9,880 to £12,570 from July 6.

This however was achieved after an increase of 1.25 percentage points in the NI rate in April. The purpose of this is to assist in paying for healthcare and social services.

Is there anything else you can do to prevent the pinch from happening?

This is the only way to get around it. Every household must be careful with their spending to combat rising prices for fuel, energy, and other commodities.

It is a good idea to take a quick glance at the bank statements monthly.

To keep your premiums low, shop around for the best phone, broadband and insurance deals.

You should consider whether subscriptions still have value and are worth the price. Many people who signed up for new services like Spotify, Netflix and Sky while they were locked down may not use them as often.

The Government-backed MoneyHelper service has budgeting guides at www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/everyday-money/budgeting